How to Upload Word Documents to Google Docs

Read and edit Word files for free

Screenshot of Google Docs web page on macOS
Screenshot of Google Docs web page on macOS.

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Google Docs is one free way to edit Microsoft Word documents online. Once the Word file is uploaded, you can read it, make changes, and share it with others from your Google account. Since Google Docs files are stored in the cloud, documents can be accessed from any computer, as well as through the Android app or iOS app. In this guide, we'll show you how to upload your Word files to Google Docs.

This guide should work with any version of Microsoft Word that uses the .docx format.

How to Send Word Documents to Google Drive

Google Docs is a part of Google Drive, so you must first upload your documents to Google Drive before you can use them on Google Docs.

  1. Open Google Drive. If you see the Go to Google Drive button, press it and log in to your Google account.

  2. Click New.

    New button in Google Docs web page
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  3. Select File upload. To upload a folder full of several Word documents, pick Folder upload instead.

    File and Folder upload menu items on the Google Drive web page
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  4. Navigate to the file or folder you want to upload and select Open. The uploading process will begin automatically.

How to Convert a Word Document in Google Docs

Now that the document is uploaded to Google Drive, you can keep it there for backup purposes or for sharing with others. However, in order to edit the Word document online with Google Docs, you have to convert it to a format Google Docs can recognize.

  1. Open Google Docs.

  2. Double-click a Word document you want to edit.

    A single Word document selected in Google Docs
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  3. Choose Google Docs from the Open With drop-down menu.

    Screenshot depicting how to open a Word document in Google Docs
  4. The .DOCX label next to the document's name lets you know it's in Microsoft Word format.

    Screenshot showing the .DOCX label in Google Docs
  5. To convert the file, select File > Save as Google Docs. A new version of the document should open in a separate window. You should now have two versions of the file, the .DOCX one and the new Google Docs one.

    Screenshot of the Save as Google Docs option

How to Download an Edited Google Docs File

When you need to download a file from Google Docs, you can do it from the document's editing page.

  1. Open Google Docs, then open the file you want to download. You can tell which documents are Google Docs files and which are still Microsoft Word documents by looking at the file extensions. Google Docs files do not have a file extension, so if there's a .DOCX or .DOC suffix after the file name, then that file has not yet been converted to the Google Docs format (which means that it's not the file you edited on Google Docs).

  2. Go to File > Download as and select a file format. You can pick from formats like DOCX, ODT, RTF, PDF, EPUB, and others.

    Download as Microsoft Word (.docx) menu item in Google document File menu
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  3. Choose a folder where the document should be saved. It may also directly download to your computer if you've defined a download folder for your browser.

  4. Click Save.

Another quick way to download the Word document from Google Docs onto your computer, is through Google Drive. Right-click the file and select Download.